British Virgin Islands uprated for tax compliance

3 Aug 15

The British Virgin Islands had the highest rate of tax compliance out of 12 countries reviewed by the OECD’s Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. 

The forum, which has 127 member nations, exists to implement internationally agreed transparency standards and the exchange of tax information. It carries out in-depth peer reviews to check members are complying with standards.

These take place in two phases: Phase 1 reviews examine the legal and regulatory framework for transparency and the exchange of information for tax purposes while Phase 2 reviews look at the implementation of the standard in practice.

Twelve reviews (both Phase 1 and Phase 2) were published today for countries including Pakistan, Albania and Austria as well as the British Virgin Islands.

The islands had initially been assessed as “non compliant” but have been subsequently upgraded to “largely compliant”. Peer assessors found that the quality of responses to Exchange of Information requests had improved, although timeliness had declined.

Austria was upgraded from “partially compliant” to “largely compliant” because it introduced incentives and sanctions to ensure that the identity of all holders of shares in unlisted joint-stock companies would be known.

Lithuania and Sint Maarten, were given ratings as “compliant” and “partially compliant”, respectively, due to their work on improving Exchange of Information practices.

Albania, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Dominican Republic, Lesotho, Pakistan and Uganda – countries that recently joined the global forum – were found to have legal frameworks in place to enable them to move to Phase 2 of the review process, which will assess Exchange of Information practices.

The Marshall Islands, which in 2012 was blocked from moving to Phase 2 of the rating process because of major gaps, asked for extra recommendations to amend the legal framework governing the availability of accounting records. 

  • Judith Ugwumadu
    Judith Ugwumadu

    Judith writes about public finance, public services and economics across Public Finance International and Public Finance. She previously undertook reporting stints at Financial Adviser, Global Security Finance and The Sunday Express.

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